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Towards more Data Autonomy

15 March 2023
Opening meeting Data Autonomy
Opening meeting Data Autonomy

On Wednesday 8 March, the road to more data autonomy in higher education was continued with a meeting in the Van Swinderenhuys.

There is a growing concern about higher education's reliance on Big Tech companies. Therefore, last year the CIT initiated the discussion on the possibilities with which the RUG can gain more autonomy over its data in the future.

Addressing more Data Autonomy

At the meeting on Wednesday 8 March, CIT director Ronald Stolk opened with an explanation of the importance of data autonomy for the university community and why a journey towards data autonomy is needed. As ambassador of the project, Oskar Gstrein (Programme Director BSc Data Science and Society, Campus Fryslân) then described the situation of the changing context of data autonomy seen in light of international law, political agendas, conflicts of interest and the role of Big Tech.

Presentations and discussions

The meeting continued with presentations on the subject by Belgian media artist Dries Depoorter and Bart Jacobs of Radboud University Nijmegen. Then the attendees were divided into seven groups representing different roles within the university:

  • Big Data Specialists
  • ICT & Security Specialists
  • Policy makers, Law and Privacy specialists
  • Researchers
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Support & Management Staff

Each group discussed the meaning of data autonomy from its own perspective. The presentations of the outcomes of the discussions showed that in several areas there is clearly need for more data autonomy.

Roadmap to Data Autonomy

The University of Groningen wants to work on a strategy to become more data autonomous. On 22 June the road to data autonomy will continue with the launch of an initiative consisting of three phases: establishing a roadmap, initiating a pilot project and eventually implementing the entire roadmap.
For the first phase, a project will be launched to set up a roadmap towards data autonomy for the UG in a structured, broadbased, and viable manner. This roadmap will be developed in collaboration with all stakeholders within the UG, as well as in collaboration with external partners, both national and international.

Last modified:28 March 2023 10.33 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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